ESPN Junior 300 linebacker Barrett Carter strengthens Clemson class, chooses Tigers

Clemson continued its impressive 2021 recruiting haul on Tuesday, landing ESPN 300 linebacker Barrett Carter, the No. 104 recruit overall.

Carter, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound linebacker out of North Gwinnett High School in Suwanee, Georgia, chose the Tigers over Auburn, Georgia and Ohio State. He is the No. 12-ranked prospect in the state of Georgia, and he gives Clemson another top-tier defender in its class.

"The thing is with Clemson, I could visit Clemson a million times, and before each visit, I'll have butterflies the whole visit," Carter said. "I had a really good feeling every time I was there, and I think that feeling can't go unnoticed. I think that really did it for me, but obviously, the football and academics are top-tier, but that feeling I had put it over the top."

Another part of the decision for Carter was his relationship with defensive coordinator Brent Venables and the results Venables and the Clemson defense have produced the past few seasons.

Being part of a successful defensive unit and having a shot to make it to the NFL were both factors in why Clemson came out on top for Carter.

"They want me to fill the role of Isaiah Simmons. It's called the cheetah position," Carter said. "It's really exciting, but I want to start my own legacy, and I want to try to be better than he was. Clemson, they're known for sending dudes to the league, and that's my goal."

Carter was looking for a school that would give him an opportunity on the field and in the classroom, as he says he wants to go into entrepreneurship, sports management or sports broadcasting, and he thought Clemson gave him everything he was looking for.

While a lot of the top schools have similar things to offer, Carter's level of comfort and excitement, combined with the opportunity, helped push the Tigers over the top. Part of that feeling, Carter says, is created by the way Clemson recruits.

"You can look at how many offers they've sent out, and they're near the bottom of the list," Carter said. "They've given out some of the least amount of offers. They're really selective in how they recruit, they don't offer everyone, and so just to even have the offer is a blessing."

Carter was one of those to receive a Clemson offer, and now he is adding to the No. 4-ranked class. With the talented linebacker on board, the Tigers have 11 total commits, 10 of whom are ranked in the top 300.

Maybe more impressively, nine of the 10 are ranked in the top 150 of the ESPN 300. That includes five-star linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr., the No. 2 running back in the class, Will Shipley, the No. 3 receiver, Beaux Collins, and the No. 1 tight end, Jake Briningstool.

Carter is the fourth defensive commit in the ESPN 300 for Clemson, with Trotter, defensive end Cade Denhoff and cornerback Jordan Hancock. That number should grow on the defensive side, and Carter is now looking to help his future coaches add to the list of defensive commitments.

"I'm going to start recruiting. I asked Coach Venables and Coach [Dabo] Swinney who are the top guys we want," Carter said. "I'm going to hit them up, see how they're feeling and try to recruit them to Clemson. I'm looking at defensive ends right now, with Korey Foreman, Monkell Goodwine and Dallas Turner -- dudes like that."